You’re going to fall in love with this crispy baked tofu! It has the perfect texture, it’s coated with the most delicious almond butter ginger sauce, and it’s super easy to make. Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.
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Tofu is a staple ingredient in our house. We love tofu because it’s high in protein, low-carb, super inexpensive (I buy the 4-pack organic sprouted tofu from Costco– here’s my vegan Costco shopping list) and delicious when it’s prepared the right way! We love tofu tacos, scrambled tofu, tofu taco stuffed tomatoes, and especially this crispy almond butter ginger tofu!
We’ve also been trying to cut back on our oil intake, so if you are in the same boat as us then this is the baked tofu no oil recipe that you’ve searching for! I’ve made tofu a lot of different ways (baked, pan-fried, marinated) and this is by far my favorite! Besides the crispy baked tofu, you’re going to fall in love with the super flavorful almond ginger sauce that it’s coated in!
What Makes This The Best Crispy Tofu Recipe?
- The tofu gets crispy without using any oil!
- It’s very easy to make!
- You don’t have to wait for the tofu to soak in a marinade for an extra hour after pressing it. All of the yummy flavors are in the delicious almond butter ginger sauce!
- This tofu recipe is much lower in sodium than most. Many recipes for crispy tofu cubes call for 3-4 tbsp of high-sodium soy sauce in the marinade or sauce. I only use 1 tbsp of tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) for the flavor and substitute the rest with coconut aminos to cut the sodium but not the flavor.
- I coat the tofu cubes in arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch because it’s a healthier option.
How to Cook Tofu Without Oil
It’s very easy to cook tofu without oil as long as you’re baking the tofu. Roasted tofu doesn’t need oil to get crispy if you toss it in arrowroot powder first (I explain why I use arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch later in the post). The only reason you would need to use oil while cooking tofu is if you’re pan-frying the tofu.
How Do You Firm Up Tofu?
Here are two ways you can firm up tofu:
- Press the tofu – Using a tofu press or wrap the tofu block in a lint-free dish towel and put something heavy on top (like a cast iron pan or books) and let the liquid drain out of it for 1 hour. This is the process that I used for this tofu recipe.
- Freeze the Tofu (for extra firm tofu) – Put the container of tofu (still in the liquid and container that it came in) into the freezer and let it freeze overnight or until solid. Then put the frozen tofu into the fridge to defrost. After the tofu has defrosted, take it out of the package and press it for 30 minutes. I don’t know what happens in there but freezing the tofu really changes the texture of the tofu and makes it drier and firmer. I usually only use this method when I’m making crumbled tofu tacos because I love the firm consistency of the tofu crumbles.
Do You Need to Press Tofu?
Yes, you need to press the tofu before baking it for this recipe. Years ago, I didn’t want another kitchen appliance so I used paper towels and my dutch oven pot to press the tofu. The setup was always a hassle and I hated wasting the paper towels, so I eventually decided to get a tofu press. This is the tofu press that I use and love. It’s small, inexpensive, and it’s well built. I’m very happy that I upgraded to the tofu press, it makes life so much easier!
What is the Best Tofu for this Recipe?
I recommend that you use firm or extra firm tofu (not silken tofu) to make the best crispy baked tofu recipe. I also prefer to use organic sprouted tofu if you can find it but it’s not required.
How To Make Crispy Tofu
The first step is to press the tofu using a tofu press or towels and a heavy pot (whatever works for you!). Next, slice the tofu into 1-inch cubes and place it on a parchment paper lined tray. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of organic arrowroot powder over the tofu and use your hands to gently toss the tofu with the arrowroot powder. Keep tossing it until all the arrowroot powder has coated the tofu cubes. Then bake the tofu cubes at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
While the tofu is baking, put all of the almond butter ginger sauce ingredients into a large pan and bring it to a low simmer and then immediately reduce the heat to low. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and arrowroot powder. Add the thickener into the saucepan and mix it well, this will thicken the tofu sauce.
When the tofu is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool for 1-2 minutes. Put the crispy baked tofu cubes into the pan with the almond butter ginger sauce and toss it to coat each piece! Serve with fluffy brown rice and roasted broccoli.
Note – While the tofu is cooking, I usually have the rice cooking on the stove top (30-35 minutes) and a separate tray of broccoli also cooking (20-25 minutes) in the oven with the tofu. Everything should be ready for dinner around the same time!
How to Make Crispy Baked Tofu Without Cornstarch
Most healthy baked tofu recipes require you to coat the tofu cubes in cornstarch because it gives the tofu a light and crispy texture. Here’s the thing, it’s not that cornstarch is a bad ingredient but it’s just a processed starch and it doesn’t offer much nutritional value. Read this post for more information about cornstarch nutrition.
I prefer to use arrowroot powder (this is the organic arrowroot powder brand that I use) instead of cornstarch when I make crispy tofu because arrowroot powder contains a good amount of vitamins and it gives tofu the same crispy texture. Check this post out for the benefits of arrowroot powder.
What Type of Sauce for Crispy Tofu is Best?
I made an almond butter ginger sauce to go with the crispy baked tofu and it’s BOMB (as my husband would say)! It’s so flavorful and saucy, it coats every single nook and cranny of the crispy tofu. I just know that you’re going to love it as much as we do! This recipe makes a pretty good amount of sauce. I like our tofu really saucy so I tend to drizzle a little extra over the plate. If you don’t like a lot of sauce you can freeze half of the sauce for dinner another night.
Many tofu recipes use peanut butter in the sauce (I love that too) but using almond butter gives the sauce such a unique flavor profile that I absolutely love! Who knew that almond butter and fresh ginger go so well together, it’s absolutely delicious! You can also use the almond ginger sauce to make baked tempeh (recipe coming soon)!
Can You Freeze Leftover Tofu?
Yes, you can freeze leftover oven baked tofu but when you reheat it will be a bit spongier and not as crispy as when you cooked it fresh the first time. It’s definitely still tasty though! It would be delicious added to a stir fry or curry dish.
Is This Crispy Baked Tofu Allergy-Friendly?
Yes! This crispy tofu is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and oil-free.
Tips For Making The Best Baked Tofu
- Use firm or extra firm tofu (not silken tofu) to make the best baked tofu.
- Make sure you press the tofu for at least 30 minutes – one hour to get rid of as much liquid as possible.
- Use arrowroot powder (instead of cornstarch) to coat the tofu before baking for a healthier option that yields the same crispy texture.
- I prefer using almond butter in the ginger sauce but you could substitute peanut butter if that’s what you have on hand.
- You can cut the sodium that most saucy tofu recipes call for my using only 1 tbsp of tamari (or soy sauce) and using coconut aminos for the rest.
What You Should Serve with Crispy Baked Tofu
I usually serve brown rice and roasted broccoli or cauliflower with tofu but you could also serve:
- Roasted Lemon Garlic Asparagus
- Roasted Garlic Brussel Sprouts
- Ginger Asian Coleslaw
- Cilantro Lime Quinoa
If you make this crispy tofu recipe, please post a picture of it on Instagram, tag me @Stacey_Homemaker and use the #StaceyHomemaker so I can see your yummy creation!
Oil-Free Crispy Baked Tofu Recipe
- 18 oz block of firm or extra firm tofu
- 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Press the tofu for at least 30 minutes to one hour. Slice the tofu into 1x1 inch cubes and put them on a parchment-lined tray. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of arrowroot over the tofu and use your hands to gently toss the tofu to coat each side. Arrange the tofu on the tray so there is space between each piece and bake it for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- While the tofu is baking, put all of the sauce ingredients into a large sauce pan and whisk it together. Bring it to a low simmer and then quickly reduce the heat to low. In a separate small bowl, whisk together 3 tbsp of water and 2 tsp of arrowroot powder into a slurry and add it to the sauce. Mix the sauce well and keep it hot on the stove over low heat while it continues to thicken. (If the sauce gets too thick take the pan off the stove or add an additional tbsp of water to loosen it up.)
- When the tofu is done baking, let it cool for 1-2 minutes and then add it to the pan with the sauce. Toss the tofu with the sauce until it's evenly coated. Serve with brown rice and broccoli and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
- You can use firm or extra firm tofu for this recipe.
- If you don't have or don't like almond butter, you can use peanut butter instead.
- This tofu recipe is gluten-free and vegan.
- I used garlic powder instead of fresh garlic because I wanted to keep the recipe oil free. If you don't mind using oil, then you could use 2 fresh minced garlic cloves and saute them in the oil before adding the rest of the sauce ingredients.